The survey has shown the smoking rates flat-lined since 2013 in Australia, which shows a different result from the UK and the US.
“This independent survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows there has actually been a marginal increase in the percentage of smokers aged between 30 and 49 over the past three years,” senator David Leyonhjelm commented on a press release.
“Clearly plain packaging has had no effect on this significant age group when it comes to giving up tobacco. The only significant effect from successive anti-smoking measures has been on smokers’ hip pockets, with the government now grabbing about 66 cents in every tobacco retail dollar.”
According to an analysis conducted by the University of NSW, UK’s smoking rate has shown it has declined significantly over the years while the US currently has a lower percentage of smokers compared to Australia. Both US and UK have e-cigarettes sold to consumers while in Australia the sale of such products is still prohibited.
“Our public health bureaucrats choose to ignore their international counterparts such as the Royal College of Physicians, which concluded that e-cigarettes offer massive potential to improve public health by providing long-term smokers with a much safer alternative to tobacco,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
“It’s time to end this ridiculous ban on e-cigarettes and start doing something practical to help smokers. Plain packaging is a joke while the high rate of tobacco excise mainly harms low income smokers.”